upstairs, downstairs

brown boat on sea
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They drift around in black, like shadows,

Quiet while the rich ones dance

And drink and eat and make a mess,

But all of it is whisked away

By morning time when sun streams in

And bodies turn in silky bed sheets

Ready for a breakfast made

By people poorer than ourselves.

I absolutely love watching Below Deck. I think that it’s aired around the world, but in case you haven’t seen it, it follows a group of people who work on board a luxury yacht for weekly charters. Each episode follows a new set of guests and how the crew manage and interact with those guests.

The season I’m watching at the moment is actually American, but it feels like there is something decidedly British about the set up on these boats. The idea that the upper class can sit around drinking champagne in the sun, while the poor people scurry around in the shadows making the magic happen. I find it strangely intriguing to watch.

And then there’s the relationship between the crew which is so fun to watch. You put a group of strangers together and have them live and work in such close proximity and there are always going to be a few fireworks.

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy watching relationships form in real life and so I can’t help but fall in love with Big Brother, Love Island and all those other reality shows. Many would say they are just trash, but I feel like it educates me in all the parts of life that I feel like I kind of missed in my twenties.

They teach me how to be a better human being.

Much Love

Rachel xx

love on the television

red flower photography
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kissing underneath the mounted cameras

stolen glances, little laughs

in places where you can’t be seen

and then the tantalizing lure

of making love in private rooms

filled with bubbles and the petals of

a hundred roses bought for you

but always there, aware

that parents are at home, watching

cringing at your fumbled moves.

Love Island is back! And I love it so much. But I now have a son that is only two years younger than some of the contestants on the show, and it makes me wonder how it must feel to be the parent of one of those islanders.

There comes a point when you must just have to turn off. I don’t know if I could even watch my child flirting, never mind kissing, and don’t even get me started on having sex.

So many islanders get drunk on champagne, have the hideaway to themselves and end up going the whole way and it’s like they forget that the cameras are even there. I’ve never really considered this before now and I think it might be because I can relate, having an older teen of my own.

Good luck to all the parents of this year’s contestants. I hope that you don’t embarrass too easily and I hope that you don’t have to watch anything too uncomfortable. And remember that there have been several successful marriages out of the show so you might have a really happy ending.

Much Love

Rachel xx

love on tv

brown wooden love is lover decor
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He stands at the altar, waiting

For his bride, he knows his type,

Blonde with blue eyes, definitely no taller

Than 5 foot 5. She probably needs

To like running marathons and listening

To drum and bass music, but of course,

They’re all just little wishes,

Not deal breakers, he doesn’t think…

I adore love shows on TV. Love is Blind. Love Island. Married at First Sight. Give me any of them and I’ll lap it up. It’s probably because I feel I need to believe in it.

I think that if we have been hurt, we need to hold onto that dream that it can actually work. And shows like Love is Blind are offering us a glimpse into real life relationships and offering us the fairy tale.

They show us that love and a real partnership is always going to be hard, but it also shows us that these quick but intense encounters can forge bonds that are very real. And these are the things that we can actually feel through the screen.

Not everyone gets the chance to have deep and meaningful conversations and propose before we even meet, but we do all have the opportunities to build those relationships in the real world.

That gives me a little bit of hope when I sometimes find myself feeling really broken.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the dating show

There’s an abundance of those shows on TV,

The ones where strangers meet in circumstances

Different to the normal ones that hold the world in place.

One day, I applied for one. The type with food,

Cooking to be precise.

I made it on.

He cooked for me in his London flat, with camera crew

Packed into the space. Hardly romantic,

And I found myself perspiring, needing a drink.

I downed a gin and tonic, before he served a starter.

Soup, velvety and smooth,

Then chicken with a white wine sauce

And chocolate sundae for dessert.

He didn’t pick me as his favourite,

He went for Becky, a gorgeous blonde who laughed

At all his jokes and touched his leg, underneath the table.

I shouldn’t care, but I do,

Rejected on TV, an audience there

To watch my red faced shame. I’ll never go again,

On a dating show.

how to get on tv

Be as loud and wacky as possible

Wear the loudest clothing you can find

Say quirky things and maybe do a rap

Lose all inhibitions

And generally make a bit of a tit

Out of your otherwise perfect reputation.

I make a list of ‘resolutions’ at the beginning of each year and every list for the last five years has had ‘appear on TV’ on it. These are always fun little goals like ‘read three classics’ and ‘eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon during the tournament’. So nothing too difficult, although some of them take a bit of planning.

The TV one always seems to get away from me because I just don’t think that I’m interesting enough to get on any of the shows that I enjoy. And when I say ‘interesting’ I really mean ‘weird’.

My dad and I always sit and watch shows like Come Dine With Me and we’re not quite sure how the producers have found so many ‘interesting’ people over the years. We’re sure they must be running out of them soon, but still they come.

From years of watching these reality shows I have deduced that the key to getting on is to be as outlandish as possible. I’m just not sure that I have the guts to go on national TV and make a tit out of myself, just yet. Anyone else done it before? I’d love to know about your experience…..

Much Love

Rachel xx

make me famous, please

I was a different person before,

When I hid behind the curtain of

Blissful anonymity.

Now my flaws are glaring beams

That sweep across the open page.

I can’t go back, that door has closed,

But deep inside the eye of my mind

I’ll always be that girl from way back when.

I just watched the BBC drama called Make Me Famous and I have to say it blew me away. I only had it on in the background to start with but I checked the TV guide and the subject matter drew me in for the second half.

It was basically about a guy who ‘won’ a place on a reality TV show and how the initial excitement eventually became a nightmare as his new found fame sent his old life spiralling down the drain.

It is a subject that I’m always fascinated by and I think that this dramatised it really well. I am so interested in the psychology behind reality shows and I have been since the early days of Big Brother when they had psychologists on the Sunday night episode, dissecting the behaviour of the housemates that week.

The world seems to be obsessed with getting famous but people seem to forget that it’s not all about the adulation. One wrong step, and the public can turn and we have seen this several times in recent months.

Reality TV is another beast anyway because these people are not given the training or gentle introduction to the business. People who have gone to drama school and earned their fame in small steps get to build up to the point where everyone knows their name. Reality stars just get thrown into the deep end.

I sometimes find myself wishing that I could have a bit of fame so that I could have lots of people tell me how great I am and I can have a bit more money. But then I remember what could happen and I remember how wobbly I can get if one person says something nasty about me. And then I know that I’d never want that.

I’ll just keep plodding away at my writing and hope that I can get some nice reviews on Goodreads. God knows what I’ll do if anyone gives me a star rating below three!

Much Love

Rachel xx